Puerto Rico

Why study a Bachelor or Master in Puerto Rico

Find all the study programs in Puerto Rico

  • About
  • Study
  • Living
  • Universities
  • Student Visa
  • How to Apply
  • Scholarship

About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, or la Isla del Encanto (the Isle of Enchantment) as locals call it, is a tropical paradise west of the British Virgin islands. You might not know that it has several top-ranked universities there, so you can enjoy a great education, while chilling on the exotic beaches! 


Although not many think of it when they first think of a study abroad destination, many international students choose to study in Puerto Rico. This is because it’s a cheaper alternative to studying in USA, and is just a few short flights away from bustling US cities. With cheaper tuition fees and living expenses than America, it’s a great option for your study Abroad adventure. 


Whether you decide to go there for a semester abroad, exchange program or pursue your full degree program there, find out exactly how you can study in Puerto Rico by reading this guide!


The official languages spoken in Puerto Rico are the languages of English and Spanish. Spanish is the language spoken by most people and the official language of judges in the country. This is because less than 10 per cent of Puerto Ricans are fluent in English.


The official currency used in the country is the United States Dollar. 

Geographical information

Geographically, Puerto Rico is a lush island archipelago that can be found between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It is located to the east of the Dominican Republic, to the west of the Virgin Islands and to the north of the country of Venezuela. 


Most Puerto Ricans pertain to the Roman Catholic faith, but everyone living in the country is free to practice their religion freely, as this is guaranteed by the Commonwealth Constitution.

Political stance

Politically, Puerto Rico is classified as an “unincorporated territory,” that is governed by the US government. Puerto Rico’s economy is based on the manufacturing industry and service industries, including the areas of finance and tourism. 


Compared to the other countries in Latin America, Puerto Rico has a relatively high GDP, though it relies heavily on imports due to lack of natural resources.


Puerto Rico is a popular tourist destination, with many tourists heading there to enjoy the charming towns and lush beaches. A top touristic destination is Old San Juan, which has charming colonial architecture and many forts that make you feel like you are in another time. One of the main attractions to visit in Old San Juan is El Morro Fort (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro). This fort, which was built in the year 1539, is located on a jutting peninsula and is well worth a visit.


When it comes to Puerto Rican food, traditional foods are savoured around the globe. One of the most famous dishes is Pernil, which is a roasted Pork famous around Christmas time, though you can eat it at restaurants all year round. Gallo pinto is another famous Puerto Rican food that is made of beans and rice, making it a delicious, cheap and nutritious meal to enjoy. It’ll be especially great if you’re a student on a budget as you can get all your fiber, iron and nutrients at a low cost!

Study in Puerto Rico

There are many benefits to studying in Puerto Rico from practicing your Spanish and becoming an expert to living on an exotic beach. Discover the reasons why you should study in Puerto Rico and how much it costs international students to pursue their studies there. 


Why should you study in Puerto Rico?

Here are some of the reasons why you should choose to study in the lush island paradise of Puerto Rico:

  • Studying in Puerto Rico can help you become an expert in the Spanish language, by interacting with locals who only speak Spanish. You can learn enough Spanish to get by in any Spanish country.
  • You can also study marine life, if that’s a field you are interested in. This is because there are many species of marine life that you will be in awe of that you can’t find in other countries. 
  • Puerto Rican cuisine is an awesome reason to study in Puerto Rico as it’s a blend of Spanish and African food that is truly delicious. 
  • A final reason to study in Puerto Rico is the island lifestyle that you’ll get to enjoy. Much of the culture there is centered on the beach so you’ll get to enjoy the exotic beaches no matter what time of the year it is. This makes it a perfect place to study a degree in hospitality or environmental sciences. 

How much does it cost?

To study in Puerto Rico, you might want to know how much it will cost you to do so. In general, the average fees are around 4,300 dollars per academic year at the 166 schools in the country. 

Living in Puerto Rico

When it comes to costs of living, Puerto Rico has a higher GDP than other Latin American countries which means it’s cheaper than them. Read on to learn how much accommodation and other living costs will cost you as an international student studying in Puerto Rico. 



Here are some of the accommodation options for international students who want to study in Puerto Rico: 

  • Private rentals: most neighbourhoods around schools are safe and apartments can be rented there. They’re also walking distance from universities. Rent costs differ based on location and services offered. Renting an apartment in the city centre will cost you around 750 dollars monthly while one outside of the city centre will cost around 450 dollars a month. 
  • Shared rentals: Most good rooms and apartments are advertised about at university on the notice boards so be sure to look there or ask older students. Renting a room in a shared flat will cost you around 450 dollars a month. 
  • University dorms: student housing in universities is another option and most universities will help you find a place to stay. You’ll get a private room or one shared with a roommate, and you share a kitchen and bathroom with other students on the same floor as you. However, this option will cost you around 4,000 dollars a year. 

Other costs of living

You will also need to take into consideration other costs of living like utilities, which will cost you around 70 dollars a month and internet, which will cost around 65 dollars on a monthly basis. You should also set aside 40 dollars per month for transportation costs. Keep in mind that grocery costs are pretty high, about 25 per cent higher than groceries in the US. This is because Puerto Rico depends mostly on imports. 

Universities in Puerto Rico

When it comes to universities in Puerto Rico, a few are highly ranked and worth looking into if you want to study there. Read on to learn some details about the best universities in Puerto Rico, so you know exactly what to expect. 

Degrees available

In the Puerto Rican higher education system, the universities follow the same system as the US. This means that they offer bachelor’s degrees that last for about four years. They also offer master’s degrees of both Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc). They also offer doctorate degrees, but that is rarer than the other kinds of degrees. 


Top-ranked universities

For international students interested to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the country, the top-ranked universities in Puerto Rico are the following: 

Universidad de Puerto Rico

Location: San Juan

More than a hundred years old, the Universidad de Puerto Rico is a public university in the capital city of San Juan. It has over 3,000 faculty members teaching there and around 58,000 students studying at the university. 75 per cent of students there are international students at the postgraduate level, as opposed to 25 per cent of students at the undergraduate level. This is a huge number, making it a highly international university to study at. Programs at the university are taught in the Spanish language in many degree areas, such as education, business administration, the social sciences, public communication, natural sciences, military sciences, humanities and aerospace studies.

Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico

Location: San German, Guadilla, Arecibo, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Fajardo, Guayama, Ponce

Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico is a large Christian university that is privately owned. It has about 1,500 academic staff teaching there and 50,000 students attending the institution. The university offers degree programs in the areas of many areas, such as visual arts, aviation, natural sciences, biotechnologies, environmental and chemical sciences, health sciences, social and political sciences, communications, entrepreneurship and business, IT, engineering, criminal justice, mathematics, music, psychology, religion, tourism and social work. 

Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico (PUPR)

Location: San Juan, Orlando, Miami 

Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico (PUPR) is a small private university that was established in 1966. It has campuses in San Juan, Orlando and Miami. The university has degree programs in the fields of engineering, geomatic sciences, architecture, computer science and business administration. A bit more of an expensive university, it will cost you around 8,000 dollars a year in tuition fees to attend this university. 

Universidad del Sagrado Corazón

Location: San Juan

Founded in 1880, the oldest private university is the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón. It was initially an all-girls Christian university but is now a liberal arts school. It currently has an interdisciplinary subject approach, encouraging double majors and minors, along with regular majors. The school has courses, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, in the fields of business administration, communication, education, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. 


Student Visa - Puerto Rico

Another important point to consider when studying in Puerto Rico is how to acquire a student visa. Because it’s technically a US territory, if you have a US passport or are a permanent US resident, you won’t need a passport or visa to study in Puerto Rico. All other students will need to apply for a US student visa at the US embassy to be eligible to study in Puerto Rico. Read on to learn about the requirements to get a study visa to study there. 


The requirements to apply for a study visa to study in Puerto Rico are:

  • A valid passport, with at least two years before expiry
  • Filled out visa application, issued by the Puerto Rico Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • One passport sized photograph
  • HIV test
  • Proof of good health, in the form of a health certificate 
  • Letter of acceptance from a Puerto Rican university that is recognized 
  • Proof that you are able to support yourself financially during the course of your studies 
  • Proof that you have paid your tuition fees
  • Proof that you will return back to your country after period of study
  • Proof of private medical insurance to cover the course of study period 

How to apply - Puerto Rico

In order to apply for a university in Puerto Rico, you apply separately to each institution, through their online website, as there is no centralised portal. Most students attending universities there are Puerto Ricans or expats living there but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply to study there. In fact, international students are encouraged to apply and study in Puerto Rico. Read on to learn more about the process and criteria for applying. 

Application Requirements 

If you are applying to study at a university in Puerto Rico, you’ll need to hand in the following documents if you are applying to a Bachelor’s program: 

  • High school diploma and transcript
  • Online application form, filled out and signed 
  • Passport or other form of official travel document
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Medical report, proving good health
  • Proof of language proficiency, in the course language. 


If you’re applying for a master’s program at a university in Puerto Rico, you’ll need to supply the following documents: 


  • Bachelor’s certificate 
  • Passport or another form of identification
  • Proof of language proficiency, in the language of study
  • Academic transcripts from the undergraduate program 
  • Health certificate, stating good health 
  • All other related diplomas and educational certificates 


Finally, if you’re applying to a doctorate program, you’ll need to submit the following documents: 

  • Master’s degree diploma
  • Proof of language proficiency in the language of the degree program 
  • Transcripts from master’s and bachelor’s degrees 
  • Passport or another official travel document
  • CV 
  • Proof of medical wellness, in the form of a health certificate 
  • Proof of health insurance covering the time of degree program 
  • Interview assessment (carried out by admissions committee and department at university) 

Scholarship in Puerto Rico

When it comes to scholarships to study in Puerto Rico, there are several available. Some awards are offered by the government, while others are handed out by other private institutions, as well as public ones. These help international students finance their educations in the country. Some are awarded especially to international students, while others are offered to all students but given based on certain competitive criteria like academic merit or skills in sports or art. It’s worth looking into scholarships to fund your studies in Puerto Rico if you won’t be able to afford to pay for them on your own.